The Content Of The Article:
- Location and ground
- Harvest and storage
- Mixed culture and crop rotation
- Diseases and pests
The cultivated carrot grown here (Daucus carota ssp. Sativus) comes from the wild carrot, which is native to Europe, North Africa and western Asia. Carrots are available in all possible shapes and colors: While in Central Asia, especially yellow and purple forms were cultivated, cultivated in the eastern Mediterranean mainly white species, but also purple readouts. The well-known orange-colored, beta-carotene-rich thick root was only bred in the Netherlands since the 17th century and has spread from there everywhere.
Botanically, carrots belonging to the family Apiaceae are only beets. Whether "carrot" or "carrot" - both names are correct. Gardeners usually refer to the roundish varieties as carrots and the long pointed or dull beets as carrots. Depending on the region, however, there are also different names in Germany, for example yellow turnip, root or rübli.
The carrot is biennial, but cultivated in the garden only one year old. In the first year, it forms a leaf rosette of doubly pinnate leaves and a taproot - the turnip, which later becomes the storage organ.
Carrots are subdivided into early varieties and storage locations: early marshes sown in March are ready for harvest from May. Varieties for the summer harvest must be in the bed in April. If you also want to eat carrots in autumn and winter, you can sown again in August.
Location and ground
Carrots grow very well on sandy-loamy, loose and stone-free soils. If the soil is too heavy and loamy, cultivation on dam cultures has proved successful. The dam culture brings great roots, but also requires frequent pouring and piling.
Early and summer carrots should be sown as early as possible once the soil has dried. In the cold cold frame this can be done under a fleece already from the end of February or the beginning of March. These carrots are harvested in May. It makes sense to sow stockpots in mid-May to July to reach full size by fall.
The carrots are sown in rows, with a row spacing between 30 and 45 centimeters depending on the variety, and between two to five centimeters between the individual roots. The sowing depth should be 1 to 2.5 centimeters. Seed bands facilitate the uniform sowing and you save the subsequent warping. If you mix the seeds with dry quartz sand before sowing, they also spread more evenly in the groove.
Since it can take up to three weeks to show the young plantlets, it may be advantageous to mark the seed row by admixing a starter seed such as radish, dill or chervil. If you let the carrot seeds swell in moist quartz sand for 24 hours before sowing and then sow the sand-seed mixture together, they germinate a little faster.
In order for carrots to develop well, they need some space around them
In order to be able to develop optimally, carrots need sufficient standing space. Narrow sown roots, it is therefore essential to thin out by hand. This should be done in the evening, otherwise the carrot fly will be attracted by the smell of the injured plants. You should also weed regularly between rows. After heavy rain it is necessary to loosen or mulch the soil. The application of a thin layer of compost has proven to be a new method against weeds. For this purpose, about two centimeters of fine, fully matured compost are applied to the seed.
In addition, a sufficient water supply is important for a good harvest. Before germination, you should carefully pour with a fine stream, but regularly. If the heads of the carrots look out of the ground, you pile them up so they do not turn green. In summers with regular rainfall, vegetables thrive best. When it comes to dry periods, the carrots must be additionally watered.
Harvest and storage
The early carrots are not very large, but are extremely tender. Depending on the variety they are ripe after 70 days. You pull them out of the ground as needed and free the roots of dirt and the green. So they keep themselves in the fridge for several days to weeks. Late carrots are left in the ground as long as possible until autumn and harvested when the leaf tips turn yellow or red. Since unripe carrots rot fast, one should only store healthy and fully ripe carrots. The leaves are turned off or cut off three to five centimeters, the carrots are then unwashed in sand and stored cool in a cellar with high humidity.
When the roots are almost mature they can be removed from the bed. Then they taste sweet and tender
Mixed culture and crop rotation
Carrots should be rearranged on the same bed at the earliest after three or better five years. Since carrots flourish well on beds with little weed pressure, the previous year's crops are optimal, which shade the soil well, for example potatoes or a green manure. Onions are also suitable as planting partners. They also have the advantage that their smell deters the carrot fly.
Early varieties are: 'Parisian market', an early, round, small and orange variety that tastes sweet. 'Rondo' is also orange, roundish and is about five inches tall. 'Flyaway' is a new orange variety that is not visited by the carrot fly.
The summer carrots, which are well consumed fresh and mature after about 110 days, include 'Nantaise' types. They are medium long, cylindrical and have proven themselves in cultivation. The conical short beets of the carrot varieties 'Oxheart' or 'Guerande' also thrive on shallow soils. They taste sweetly aromatic and are well suited for further processing into soups and juices. Particularly rich in beta carotene are the late autumn carrots, which are also suitable for storage, and specially bred varieties such as 'Nutri Red' or 'Rodelika' with intense orange-red color. Storage locations include 'Rothild' and 'Lange Stumpfe'. A well-known food and yellow carrot is 'yellow Lobbericher', which ripens late and can be stored well. 'Purple Haze', a modern purple variety with an orange heart, contains as many vitamins as its orange counterparts. Slightly sweet is 'Syrian violet', which is violet on the outside but white on the inside and grows narrow.
Diseases and pests
Dreaded is the widespread carrot fly (Psila rosae), which deposits its eggs in ground cracks next to the carrots. Their larvae begin to feed from the bottom up through the roots and cause feeding that quickly rots the carrots. In addition, they store their feces in the corridors, causing the roots to turn brown. The pest occurs in several generations: the first flies arrive in May, the larvae then become active in June. The second generation hatches in mid-August and can cause lasting damage to the plants. As a precaution you can use vegetable protection nets and choose a slightly windy location, as they are rather avoided by the fly. The infestation can also be reduced by a mixed culture with leeks, onions or summer flowers. Furthermore, it is necessary to observe a crop rotation and grow the carrots again on the same bed after three years at the earliest.
This damage is caused by the carrot fly and its larvae
The carrot black, a disease caused by Alternaria fungi, mainly affects late varieties. As a precaution, the seeds can be treated with hot water pickling (30 minutes at 50 degrees Celsius). Furthermore, a wind-open position can counteract the infestation.